Believing Voter Fraud Lie Makes Texas Republicans Look Foolish

  • untitledIf Vietnam falls, all Southeast Asia will go Communist.
  • Lower taxes on the rich and wealth will trickle down to the middle class.
  • Iraq has weapons of mass destruction.
  • You can keep your doctor.
  • Massive voter fraud exists in Texas.

Americans have swallowed quite a few lies over the years. The latest round of silliness from Austin points to another one.

Desperate to find voter fraud somewhere, the Texas Secretary of State’s office jumped on a risky and unreliable test in an attempt to disenfranchise Texans.

Other states have used driver’s license lists to check voter records and had the results blow up in their faces. Florida tried it and came up with 180,000 names. After reality set in, only 85 names were struck from the voter list. Colorado also had bad luck with this technique.

The Texas Legislature passed a law in 2013 to make this crosscheck legal, but the tool remained unused until 2018. When his office began using DPS lists, Secretary of State Rolando Pablos resigned. Gov. Greg Abbott appointed David Whitley, a longtime aide and deputy chief of staff.

Last week, the Secretary of State’s office gave birth to a list of 95,000 names, asking local registrars to verify their citizenship.

Marion County Registrar Karen Jones was asked to verify five. She also received a warning from the American Civil Liberties Union to not do it. Jones personally knew one of the people on the Marion County list. Jones has opted to wait and watch.

That’s looking real smart.

It turns out the crosscheck seined up names back into the 1990s of people who sought a driver’s license but indicated they were not citizens. The state computer match failed to take into account the large number of these residents who have since become naturalized citizens who can legally register and vote.

What concerns me more than a bone-headed move by the governor’s appointee is how Republican office holders trumpeted the “discovery” and failed to recognize the error.

“Thanks to Attorney General Paxton and the Secretary of State for uncovering and investigating this illegal vote registration. I support prosecution where appropriate. The State will work on legislation to safeguard against these illegal practices,” Abbott tweeted.

President Donald Trump could not resist.

“58,000 non-citizens voted in Texas, with 95,000 non-citizens registered to vote. These numbers are just the tip of the iceberg. All over the country, especially in California, voter fraud is rampant. Must be stopped. Strong voter ID!,” the realDonald tweeted.

Republicans have spread the lie of massive voter fraud in Texas. It just isn’t true. Constant repeating of the lie and bogus, premature announcements like the one last week won’t make it true.

Everyone wants voters to be citizens, but we should also want citizens to be voters. This Republican witch hunt should make anyone who can remember Jim Crow laws very uncomfortable.

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